Creating Credible Dialogue (Part 2)

By Nicholas Klacsanzky

First part of the subject.

The thing folks (I mean amateur writers) often forget about is that their characters are “real” people, which means they have emotions and thoughts, they can feel, they have memories, and whatever else normal people usually have. This means you, as a writer, need to maintain this somehow, and consider the backgrounds of your main characters when you unfold a narrative (well, unless you don’t care whether your novel seems cool or not to your readers).

how to create credible dialogue - part 2
Once again, mind the emotional condition of your characters. This is a rather subtle aspect. For example, if a person bursts with anger, they will hardly express their thoughts logically and in complex sentences. However, if it is so called “cold anger,” the character’s words can be sarcastic, deliberately negligent, or devastatingly logical. Emotions affect speech like nothing else; intonations, words choice, gestures, the way of expressing thoughts, and so on are directly influenced by what sensations a person (or character) has at the moment. When writing dialogue, make sure the content of your protagonist’s speech corresponds with what he or she feels. Important topics are almost necessarily emotional. So, if you are describing, for example, a scene of a divorce, don’t hope to make it calm and peaceful. Although it may seem so on the surface, underneath it, each of the characters can experience a thunderstorm of emotions. On the contrary, if the characters’ mood is neutral or calm, it can be used for descriptions, philosophical contemplations, neutral remarks, or occasional/daily conversation.

The next part on this subject is going to be dedicated to my favorite problem of many amateur writers. Stay updated—more is coming!

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